Former Giants outfielder Mac Williamson, designated for assignment for the second time this season by the club last Saturday, went unclaimed on waivers and has elected free agency, Maria Guardado of mlb.com tweets. Williamson previously reported to the team’s AAA affiliate after the first DFA, where a three-week hot streak led to a fifth opportunity with the big club, but this time has decided to test his luck on the open market.
The 28-year-old Williamson – he’ll be 29 next month – was a post-draft favorite in 2012 after being selected in the third round out of Wake Forest. Already 22 at the time of the draft, Williamson’s slow crawl through the minors – injuries often set him back – still had him lingering in Double-A by the time his 25th birthday rolled around.
His first three Triple-A forays, occasionally interrupted by month-long stints with the big club, were mediocre at best – Mac, in fact, seemed on verge of release after an especially poor 2017 showing with Sacramento. A swing change the next season reaped dividends, though, and Williamson seemed primed to seize the everyday left-field job for San Fran after a hot early-season ’18 start. Hopes were derailed when a collision with a wall near the bullpen mound in SF’s Oracle Park resulted in lingering concussion symptoms, and Mac could never quite recapture his early-season sizzle upon return.
2019 hasn’t been kind to him – the 6’5 righty managed just a 14 wRC+ (86 percent below league-average) in 57 plate appearances with the club before his designation. It’s unclear which, if any, clubs will be interested, but Williamson should get a Triple-A opportunity if so inclined. Perhaps a Japanese or Korean team – clubs notoriously interested in the so-called “Four-A” sluggers, many of which, admittedly, sport more impressive AAA numbers than does Williamson – will come calling, though the overseas market is never easy to predict.